Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 5, no. 7, July 1994

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

The Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720
ISSN: 1060-2356  -

Contributors: John Ober, Margaret Phillips, David Rez, Richard Rinehart, Teri Rinne, Roy Tennant

[ Electronic Publishing ] [ Multimedia and Hypermedia ] [ Networks and Networking ][ Optical Disc Technology ][ General ] [ News Bits ]

Electronic Publishing

Price-Wilkin, John. "Using the World-Wide Web to Deliver Complex Electronic Documents: Implications for Libraries." The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 5(3) (1994):5-21. [URL: gopher://] -- The University of Virginia is clearly on the forefront of using existing and emerging standards for electronic text markup (e.g., SGML, HTML) to deliver rich (marked up) text and images to its users and the Internet at large. This article briefly describes the technologies used by the University of Virginia Library's Digital Image Center, and provides a series of specific examples of how scholars have used these capabilities to create interesting and instructive online works. For those with access to NCSA Mosaic or a similar World-Wide Web browser, at least some of the URLs provided in this article should be explored for some excellent examples of what is possible using existing technology. Price-Wilkin and his colleagues are definitely pushing the envelope and anyone who is working in the SGML/HTML/WWW arena would do well to pay attention to what they are doing at the University of Virginia. -- RT

Wilson, David L. "Creating Electronic Texts" Chronicle of Higher Education 40(41) (June 15, 1994):A19+. -- This article provides an overview of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) that attempts to develop a set of international standards for producing electronic texts. Proposed by a panel of scholars, these guidelines are expected to benefit researchers, librarians and archivists. -- MP

Multimedia and Hypermedia

Lazarus, Anthony. "School's Out on CD-ROM: Private Developer Invests in Public Education" Digital Media 4(1) (June 8, 1994): 37. -- San Francisco State University's multimedia program has received an interesting arrangement for funding from a private CD-ROM publisher. the Interactivity Research Lab at SFSU recently entered into an agreement with Wadsworth publishing and Haukom Associates to produce 3 new CD-ROM titles based on their educational experience. The CD-ROM titles will cover an intro to multimedia, as well as designing and producing multimedia titles. The agreement is notable because it was not a grant that the university is using to fund a broad project, but rather each student and faculty member who works on the project will be compensated and share in the profit from sales. The titles may be marketed toward other institutions with multimedia programs, but will not be limited in focus to educational institutions. Of course this brings up the obvious issues of control over academic programs, and although private funding is nothing new to universities, this direct arrangement poses new implications as well as possibilities for new digital media programs. The actual titles produced will hopefully be of equal interest to this novel funding arrangement. -- RR

Peterson, Norman, and Wilhelm, Laurn. "Multimedia in a Traditional Library Setting" Computers in Libraries 14(6) (June 1994):23-26 -- The main issue this article deals with is integrating information technology into the educational process. In a very clear manner, the authors explain that the first step should be to integrate this new technology into the education of teachers. To accomplish this, the education program at the University of Wyoming entered into a partnership with the library to provide a computer laboratory for students of education, and for pilot classes they may teach to local high school students. The crux as they saw it was that multimedia needed to be used as a tool in learning, and not necessarily a subject itself, nor as merely an add-on to traditional ways of educating. Seeing digital technology as a tool helped the decision to locate the laboratory where other learning tools are located: the library. Placing the tools within the library eased issues of access, and leveraged use of scarce computer resources among many programs. The article is very useful in its outline of the issues raised in integrating new technology into education, and as a guide for setting up an educational computer laboratory. -- RR

Networks and Networking

Andreessen, Marc and Eric Bina. "NCSA Mosaic: A Global Hypermedia System" Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy 4(1) (Spring 1994):7-17. -- In this overview article, two of the developers of the NCSA Mosaic World-Wide Web client program describe what has been referred to as the "killer" Internet application. Unfortunately, the article does nothing to dispel the common misconception that Mosaic is equivalent to the World-Wide Web and vice versa. In fact, it may add to the confusion by implying that the World-Wide Web (HTTP) servers that are used as examples in the article can only be accessed via Mosaic. Nonetheless this article can serve as a useful overview of Mosaic, examples of its use, and future capabilities. -- RT

Dowling, Thomas. "Internet Resources for Engineering" College and Research Libraries News 55(6) (June 1994): 52-353+. -- Another in the regular series of articles in C&RL News that lists essential Internet resources in specific academic disciplines. This article focuses on resources in engineering. -- MP

Frazer, Karen D. "Congress Watch: An Update on Current National Information Infrastructure (NII) Legislation" NSF Network News 1(2) (May/June 1994):2,7. [URL:] Frazer describes major categories of NII concern, including Regulatory Reform, Universal Access, Security and Privacy, Intellectual Property, and Access to Government Information, while also providing a summary table of current legislation. This is one of several articles in this valuable overview of network activity published bimonthly by the InterNIC. -- JLO

Kessler, Jack. "Networked Information in France, 1993: The Internet's Future?" Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy 4(1) (Spring 1994):18-30. -- In this entertaining and insightful article, Kessler examines four major issues and events that are related to the present and future state of French networking: 1) the Bibliotheque de France, 2) the Bibliotheque des Arts, 3) the Minitel, and 4) the French publishing industry. Kessler compares French networking with the U.S. Internet and muses on the differences of these models and the likelihood of one or the other proving to be replicable in other nations. -- RT

McClure, Charles R., John Carlo Bertot, and Douglas L. Zweizig. Public Libraries and the Internet: Study Results, Policy Issues, and Recommendations. June, 1994. Available from the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. -- This final report of a study commissioned by the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science provides few surprises in results (e.g. 20.9% of U.S. public libraries are connected to the Internet, though libraries serving larger communities are more likely to have access than those serving smaller communities; there are significant regional variations in access) but does provide thorough and readable sections outlining issues and making recommendations. Here the authors use the extensive survey to support a list which includes suggestions for policy makers (e.g. "Promote Statewide Networks," "Use Public Libraries to Deliver Government Information and Services") and for public librarians themselves (e.g. "Increase Knowledge and Training Related to the Internet," "Collaborate with Other Local Organizations"). -- JLO

"Putting the Information Infrastructure to Work: A Report of the Information Infrastructure Task Force's Committee on Applications and Technology" Committee on Applications and Technology of the Information Infrastructure Task Force, 1994. [URL: gopher://] -- This "draft for public comment" is an interesting source of the scope and assumptions underlying the NII. There is a specific section about libraries which begins with the sublime -- "Policymakers must determine how to sustain, in the electronic age, the democratic and equal access to information that free public libraries have provided in the age of print" (Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington) -- and concludes with the straightforward -- "libraries are central to the success of the NII." In between, sections describe the "application arena" of libraries, the current state of networking and libraries, some goals and objectives, and finally name strategies by which to move from the present to the envisioned future. A version of the library portion of the document has been marked up in HTML, for access through World-Wide Web clients, by Nick Arnett at Multimedia Computing Corporation. This better formatted version, with some embedded links to other named sources, is available at The document has already generated discussion and comment, some of which is available through the Internet. The interested reader might check, for example, the _ALA Washington Office Newsline_ 3(31) (July 11, 1994) for the ALA draft response to the paper (available on the ALA gopher at [URL: gopher://]). -- JLO

Rinaldi, Arlene. _The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette_ Florida Atlantic University, July 1994. [] -- This succinct yet thorough guide to network etiquette is a useful compendium of tips and guidelines for all network users. It comes in three formats: 1) a brochure PostScript format that is designed to be copied on two sides of one sheet of paper and folded, 2) a full-sized formatted document of nine pages in PostScript format, and 3) a straight text version. The brochure format is handiest for distributing to a class or a group of users, but the print size is fairly small. -- RT

Tennant, Roy, John Ober and Anne G. Lipow. Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook,. 2nd Ed. Berkeley, Library Solutions Press, 1994. -- An updated edition of the popular handbook that was one of the first to provide information professionals with a structured approach to teaching the Internet. The second edition of _Crossing the Internet Threshold_ once again proves to be an important resource that provides a practical, organized and informative introduction to the Internet. Designed as both a self-paced workbook for new users and a guidebook for teachers, the second edition includes new chapters on Gopher, World-Wide Web and WAIS as well as an expanded glossary, updated exercises in e-mail, telnet and ftp, and more slides that can be copied onto transparencies. -- MP

Veljkov, Mark D. and George Hartnell. Pocket Guides to the Internet Westport, CT : Mecklermedia, 1994: v. 1. Telnetting; v. 2. Transferring Files with File Transfer Protocol; v. 3. Using and Navigating Usenet; v. 4. The Internet E-mail System; v. 5. Internet Utilities; v. 6. Terminal Connections. -- With an increasing number of Internet "guides" showing up on the bookstore shelves these six brief volumes may be unique by living up to their billing as "handy instructional reference" tools for the Internet. Each of the six volumes is small enough (averaging 56 pages) to allow the user to quickly familiarize themselves with its contents. These pocket guides are more useful to beginning and intermediate Internet users rather than experienced Internet surfers. -- DR

Wielhorski, Karen. "Teaching Remote Users How to Use Electronic Information Resources" The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 5(4) (1994):5-20. [URL: gopher:// articles/e-journals/uhlibrary/pacsreview/v5/n4/wielhors.5n4] -- Wielhorski begins with a brief history of remote access to electronic information. She follows it with a discussion of remote users and a suggested categorization of their needs. Other topics discussed include the respective roles of the library and campus computing center in training remote users, which concepts should be covered, and how the instruction should be delivered. Overall, this is an excellent overview article of the challenges of instructing remote users and the ways in which to meet that challenge. -- RT

Wilson, David L. "Metering the Internet" Chronicle of Higher Education 40(39) (June 1, 1994), A17-A19. -- This article offers an overview of the recent controversy surrounding a potential change in the Internet pricing system. As the National Science Foundation plans to transfer control of its key traffic areas -- the so-called NSF backbone -- to the private sector, a movement that calls on the NSF to prohibit private companies from adopting any kind of usage-based pricing (as opposed to the flat rates currently in practice) is gaining momentum among consumer advocates and other net users. Proponents of volume-based pricing argue that metered pricing may be necessary to discourage unnecessary traffic on the Internet; they also argue that metered pricing is unlikely to be applied directly to individual users. -- MP

Optical Disc Technology

Burke, David. "What You Need to Know Before Networking CD-ROMs" CD-ROM World 14(6) (June 1994):16-22. -- Systems librarian Burke argues that while some may view CD-ROM as a transitional storage medium, "those shiny little discs will be a part of our lives--and our networks--for a long time to come." With that in mind, Burke proceeds to describe in detail the necessary steps to the "all-encompassing task" of providing networked access to CD-ROM. These steps include selecting a networked CD-ROM product, configuring the workstation, choosing (or creating) the user interface to CD-ROM database selection, deciding what to do about printing, and ensuring network security. -- TR


Ensor, Pat. "SilverPlatter Embraces the Future: The Electronic Reference Library Becomes a Reality" Computers in Libraries 14(6) (June 1994):28-31. -- This article outlines one solution to the growing problem of libraries presenting users with multiple interfaces to digital resources. The ideal solution is to have one user interface for access to all of a library's computer-based resources, whether they be CD-ROMs, Internet sites, or databases on a local hard disk. These differing technologies and to some extent the variety of content demand otherwise, but SilverPlatter has made a valiant effort at unification, at least at the initial user-access point. The Electronic Reference Library is a software package available free to institutions that have SilverPlatter titles already. It uses a client/server model to deliver a front end to a LAN, from which point it branches out to further access points. Each workstation can be configured to access only those resources appropriate for its use, and ERL supports remote access as well. ERL does not currently support many protocols that are called 'standards' (Z39.50 is one) but it will try to incorporate these in the future. This last issue will be crucial in deciding the usefulness of a universal access-point interface, but SilverPlatter has shown a promising direction for software vendors targeting information-providing institutions. -- RR

News Bits

"Current Contents of Computing and LIS Journals" College and Research Libraries News 55(6) (June 1994). [URL: gopher:// 11/BUBL_Main_Menu/E] -- This valuable resource provides tables of contents for a wide range of library and information science publications and includes a small number of computing publications as well. In some cases, short abstracts of the articles are provided. This resource is a cooperative venture of library and information professionals around the world, with contents transcribed and submitted by volunteers. The tables of contents are searchable with the gopher search facility, allowing the user to search the entire text of the tables of contents, including abstracts when available, with keywords and boolean operators. The only drawback to the system is its uneven currency. While entries for some journal titles are up-to-date, others lag behind by six months to a year. -- TR

Current Cites 5(7) (July 1994) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1995 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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